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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Some Thoughts On The Evidentiary Aspects Of Technologically Produced Or Presented Evidence, Fredric I. Lederer Sep 2019

Some Thoughts On The Evidentiary Aspects Of Technologically Produced Or Presented Evidence, Fredric I. Lederer

Fredric I. Lederer

No abstract provided.


Ehearsay, Jeffrey Bellin Sep 2019

Ehearsay, Jeffrey Bellin

Jeffrey Bellin

No abstract provided.


Identifying Liars Through Automatic Decoding Of Children's Facial Expressions, Kaila Bruer, Sarah Zanette, Xiaopan Ding, Thomas D. Lyon, Kang Lee Sep 2019

Identifying Liars Through Automatic Decoding Of Children's Facial Expressions, Kaila Bruer, Sarah Zanette, Xiaopan Ding, Thomas D. Lyon, Kang Lee

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study explored whether children’s (N=158; 4-9 years-old) nonverbal facial expressions can be used to identify when children are being deceptive. Using a computer vision program to automatically decode children’s facial expressions according to the Facial Action Coding System, this study employed machine learning to determine whether facial expressions can be used to discriminate between children who concealed breaking a toy(liars) and those who did not break a toy(nonliars). Results found that, regardless of age or history of maltreatment, children’s facial expressions could accurately (73%) distinguished between liars and nonliars. Two emotions, surprise and ...


Younger And Older Adults' Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children's Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela Evans Sep 2019

Younger And Older Adults' Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children's Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela Evans

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Previous research has examined young and middle-aged adults’ perceptions of child witnesses; however, no research to date has examined how potential older adult jurors may perceive a child witness. The present investigation examined younger (18–30 years, N = 100) and older adults’ (66–89 years, N = 100) liedetection and credibility judgments when viewing children’s truthful and dishonest reports. Participants viewed eight child interview videos where children (9–11 years of age) either provided a truthful report or a coached fabricated report to conceal a transgression. Participants provided lie-detection judgments following all eight videos and credibility assessments following the first ...


72. Identifying Liars Through Automatic Decoding Of Children’S Facial Expressions., Kaila C. Bruer, Sarah Zanette, Xiaopan Ding, Thomas D. Lyon, Kang Lee Sep 2019

72. Identifying Liars Through Automatic Decoding Of Children’S Facial Expressions., Kaila C. Bruer, Sarah Zanette, Xiaopan Ding, Thomas D. Lyon, Kang Lee

Thomas D. Lyon

This study explored whether children’s (N=158; 4-9 years-old) nonverbal facial expressions can be used to identify when children are being deceptive. Using a computer vision program to automatically decode children’s facial expressions according to the Facial Action Coding System, this study employed machine learning to determine whether facial expressions can be used to discriminate between children who concealed breaking a toy(liars) and those who did not break a toy(nonliars). Results found that, regardless of age or history of maltreatment, children’s facial expressions could accurately (73%) distinguished between liars and nonliars. Two emotions, surprise and ...


The Effects Of The Putative Confession And Evidence Presentation On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated 9- To 12-Year-Olds' Coached Concealment Of A Minor Transgression, Angela Evans, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

The Effects Of The Putative Confession And Evidence Presentation On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated 9- To 12-Year-Olds' Coached Concealment Of A Minor Transgression, Angela Evans, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The present study examined the influence of the putative confession (in which children are told that the suspect told them “everything that happened” and “wants [the child] to tell the truth”) and evidence presentation on 9- to 12-year-old maltreated and non-maltreated children’s disclosure (N = 321). Half of the children played a forbidden game with an adult confederate which resulted in a laptop breaking (no transgression occurred for the other half of children), followed by coaching to conceal the forbidden game and to falsely disclose the sanctioned game. Children were then interviewed about the interaction with the confederate. Among the ...


Effects Of The Putative Confession Instruction On Perceptions Of Children's True And False Statements, Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

Effects Of The Putative Confession Instruction On Perceptions Of Children's True And False Statements, Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The putative confession instruction (“[suspect] told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth”) during forensic interviews with children has been shown to increase the accuracy of children’s statements, but it is unclear whether adult’s perceptions are sensitive to this salutary effect. The present study examined how adults perceive children’s true and false responses to the putative confession (PC) instruction. Participants (n = 299) watched videotaped interviews of children and rated the child’s credibility and the truthfulness of his/her statements. When viewing children’s responses to the PC instruction, true and false statements ...


70. Children’S Concealment Of A Minor Transgression: The Role Of Age, Maltreatment, And Executive Functioning., Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

70. Children’S Concealment Of A Minor Transgression: The Role Of Age, Maltreatment, And Executive Functioning., Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

This study examined the role of age, maltreatment status, and executive functioning (EF) on 752 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s recall disclosure of a transgression in which they appeared to have broken toys while playing with a stranger. Interviewers used narrative practice rapport-building and then questioned children with free recall and cued recall questions. Younger and maltreated children were more likely to disclose during rapport-building, whereas older and nonmaltreated children were more likely to disclose in response to recall questions. Working memory deficits appeared to mediate the relation between children’s characteristics and disclosure during rapport, but ...


Children's Concealment Of A Minor Transgression: The Role Of Age, Maltreatment, And Executive Functioning, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

Children's Concealment Of A Minor Transgression: The Role Of Age, Maltreatment, And Executive Functioning, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the role of age, maltreatment status, and executive functioning (EF) on 752 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s recall disclosure of a transgression in which they appeared to have broken toys while playing with a stranger. Interviewers used narrative practice rapport-building and then questioned children with free recall and cued recall questions. Younger and maltreated children were more likely to disclose during rapport-building, whereas older and nonmaltreated children were more likely to disclose in response to recall questions. Working memory deficits appeared to mediate the relation between children’s characteristics and disclosure during rapport, but ...


Adults' Perceptions Of Children's Referentially Ambiguous Responses, Breanne E. Wylie, Thomas D. Lyon, Alison M. O'Connor, Christina Lapytskaia, Angela Evans Jul 2019

Adults' Perceptions Of Children's Referentially Ambiguous Responses, Breanne E. Wylie, Thomas D. Lyon, Alison M. O'Connor, Christina Lapytskaia, Angela Evans

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The present study examined adults’ (N = 295) interpretations of child witnesses’ referentially ambiguous “yes” and “no” responses to “Do You Know/Remember (DYK/R) if/whether” questions (e.g., “Do you know if it was blue?”). Participants were presented with transcripts from child sexual abuse cases modified based on question format (DYK/R vs. Direct) and child response type (Yes, No, I don’t know) in a between subjects design. We assessed whether adults recognized that children’s ambiguous responses were unclear, and if not, how they were interpreting children’s responses compared to the control (Direct) conditions. More specifically ...


The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children's Placement Preferences, Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas Jun 2019

The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children's Placement Preferences, Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Although considerable attention has been directed toward the most appropriate placement for children following removal from home due to maltreatment, very little of this attention has focused on children’s stated preferences, particularly when they are young. Specifically, children under 12 years of age are typically presumed incompetent to form reasoned judgments about their best interests in placement. This assumption, however, has rarely been tested directly. We surveyed 100 4- to 11-year-olds removed from home because of maltreatment about their placement preferences. Children were less likely to indicate they wanted to return home if they were placed with siblings or ...


Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer Jun 2019

Social Media, Venue And The Right To A Fair Trial, Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer

Pace Law Faculty Publications

Judicial failure to recognize social media's influence on juror decision making has identifiable constitutional implications. The Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial demands that courts grant a defendant's change of venue motion when media-generated pretrial publicity invades the unbiased sensibility of those who are asked to sit in judgment. Courts limit publicity suitable for granting a defendant's motion to information culled from newspapers, radio, and television reports. Since about 2014, however, a handful of defendants have introduced social media posts to support their claims of unconstitutional bias in the community. Despite defendants' introduction of negative social ...


Justice Begins Before Trial: How To Nudge Inaccurate Pretrial Rulings Using Behavioral Law And Economic Theory And Uniform Commercial Laws, Michael Gentithes May 2019

Justice Begins Before Trial: How To Nudge Inaccurate Pretrial Rulings Using Behavioral Law And Economic Theory And Uniform Commercial Laws, Michael Gentithes

William & Mary Law Review

Injustice in criminal cases often takes root before trial begins. Overworked criminal judges must resolve difficult pretrial evidentiary issues that determine the charges the State will take to trial and the range of sentences the defendant will face. Wrong decisions on these issues often lead to wrongful convictions. As behavioral law and economic theory suggests, judges who are cognitively busy and receive little feedback on these topics from appellate courts rely upon intuition, rather than deliberative reasoning, to resolve these questions. This leads to inconsistent rulings, which prosecutors exploit to expand the scope of evidentiary exceptions that almost always disfavor ...


69. The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children’S Placement Preferences., Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas May 2019

69. The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children’S Placement Preferences., Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas

Thomas D. Lyon

Although considerable attention has been directed toward the most appropriate placement for children following removal from home due to maltreatment, very little of this attention has focused on children’s stated preferences, particularly when they are young. Specifically, children under 12 years of age are typically presumed incompetent to form reasoned judgments about their best interests in placement. This assumption, however, has rarely been tested directly. We surveyed 100 4- to 11-year-olds removed from home because of maltreatment about their placement preferences. Children were less likely to indicate they wanted to return home if they were placed with siblings or ...


Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession, Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon May 2019

Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession, Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon May 2019

68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon May 2019

68. Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children’S Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession., Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


Between Brady Discretion And Brady Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman Apr 2019

Between Brady Discretion And Brady Misconduct, Bennett L. Gershman

Dickinson Law Review

The Supreme Court’s decision in Brady v. Maryland presented prosecutors with new professional challenges. In Brady, the Supreme Court held that the prosecution must provide the defense with any evidence in its possession that could be exculpatory. If the prosecution fails to timely turn over evidence that materially undermines the defendant’s guilt, a reviewing court must grant the defendant a new trial. While determining whether evidence materially undermines a defendant’s guilt may seem like a simple assessment, the real-life application of such a determination can be complicated. The prosecution’s disclosure determination can be complicated under the ...


Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams Mar 2019

Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this chapter we provide an overview of psychological issues involving children’s capacities as witnesses. First, we discuss the kinds of cases in which children are usually involved. Across different courts, one most often sees children describing abuse at the hands of familiar adults. Second, we describe the difficulties children encounter in disclosing abuse, particularly when it is perpetrated by adults close to them. These dynamics lead most children to remain silent, and only the most forthcoming children to disclose. Third, we suggest a framework for assessing children’s allegations, in which child-generated and adult-generated information lie on opposite ...


The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon Mar 2019

The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked.

Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.

Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.

Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


67. The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse., Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon Feb 2019

67. The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse., Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked. Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.
Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.
Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


66. Younger And Older Adults’ Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children’S Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela D. Evans Jan 2019

66. Younger And Older Adults’ Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children’S Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela D. Evans

Thomas D. Lyon

Previous research has examined young and middle-aged adults’ perceptions of child witnesses; however, no research to date has examined how potential older adult jurors may perceive a child witness. The present investigation examined younger (18-30 years, N = 100) and older adults’ (66-89 years, N = 100) lie-detection and credibility judgments when viewing children’s truthful and dishonest reports. Participants viewed eight child interview videos where children (9 to 11 years of age) either provided a truthful report or a coached fabricated report to conceal a transgression. Participants provided lie-detection judgments following all eight videos and credibility assessments following the first two ...


Maltreated Children's Ability To Make Temporal Judgments Using A Recurring Landmark Event, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon, J A. Quas Jan 2019

Maltreated Children's Ability To Make Temporal Judgments Using A Recurring Landmark Event, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon, J A. Quas

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined whether maltreated children are capable of judging the location and order of significant events with respect to a recurring landmark event. 167 6- to 10-year-old maltreated children were asked whether the current day, their last court visit, and their last change in placement were “near” their birthday and “before or after” their birthday. Children showed some understanding that the target event was “near” and “before” their birthday when their birthday was less than three months hence, but were relatively insensitive to preceding birthdays. Hence, children exhibited a prospective bias, preferentially answering with reference to a forthcoming birthday ...


Psychosocial Analysis Of An Ethnography At The Cuyahoga County Public Defenders Office, Ernest M. Oleksy Dec 2018

Psychosocial Analysis Of An Ethnography At The Cuyahoga County Public Defenders Office, Ernest M. Oleksy

The Downtown Review

Too often, social science majors become jaded with their field of study due to a misperception of the nature of many potential jobs which they are qualified for. Such discord is prevalent amongst undergraduates who strive for work in the criminal justice system. Hollywood misrepresentations become the archetypes of the aforementioned field, leaving out the necessity and ubiquity of accompanying desk work. Still other social science majors struggle to identify theoretical interpretations in praxis.


65. Adults’ Perceptions Of Children’S Referentially Ambiguous Responses., Breanne E. Wylie, Thomas D. Lyon, Alison M. O’Connor, Christina Lapytskaia, Angela D. Evans Oct 2018

65. Adults’ Perceptions Of Children’S Referentially Ambiguous Responses., Breanne E. Wylie, Thomas D. Lyon, Alison M. O’Connor, Christina Lapytskaia, Angela D. Evans

Thomas D. Lyon

The present study examined adults’ (N = 295) interpretations of child witnesses’ referentially ambiguous “yes” and “no” responses to “Do You Know/Remember (DYK/R) if/whether” questions (e.g., “Do you know if it was blue?”). Participants were presented with transcripts from child sexual abuse cases modified based on question format (DYK/R vs. Direct) and child response type (Yes, No, I don’t know) in a between subjects design. We assessed whether adults recognized that children’s ambiguous responses were unclear, and if not, how they were interpreting children’s responses compared to the control (Direct) conditions. More specifically ...


64. Effects Of The Putative Confession Instruction On Perceptions Of Children’S True And False Statements, Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Thomas D. Lyon Oct 2018

64. Effects Of The Putative Confession Instruction On Perceptions Of Children’S True And False Statements, Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

The putative confession instruction (“[suspect] told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth”) during forensic interviews with children has been shown to increase the accuracy of children’s statements, but it is unclear whether adult’s perceptions are sensitive to this salutary effect. The present study examined how adults perceive children’s true and false responses to the putative confession (PC) instruction. Participants (n = 299) watched videotaped interviews of children and rated the child’s credibility and the truthfulness of his/her statements. When viewing children’s responses to the PC instruction, true and false statements ...


Spotlight On A Discipline: Forensics, Bianca Valdez Sep 2018

Spotlight On A Discipline: Forensics, Bianca Valdez

International Social Science Review

Bianca Valdez is a digital forensic scientist and a dedicated member of SMS, an organization that aims to raise awareness about human trafficking. She also volunteers with NOVA-HTI, an organization designed to help human trafficking victims.


Understanding The Sexual Assault Kit Backlog In Pennsylvania, Kallie Crawford, Lyndsie Ferrara Aug 2018

Understanding The Sexual Assault Kit Backlog In Pennsylvania, Kallie Crawford, Lyndsie Ferrara

Graduate Student Research Symposium

According to the FBI, to date, there are more than 400,000 untested sexual assault kits nationwide. While this is a huge issue that cannot be solved overnight, continual improvements and changes are needed to reduce and hopefully eliminate the backlog.

This research examines work going on nationwide and aims to better understand the backlog issues specifically in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the research examines a program utilized by the law enforcement community that garnered necessary resources. First, a comprehensive review of improved practices in proactive jurisdictions of Ohio, Houston, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan was conducted to identify general policies and procedures ...


Children's Conversational Memory Regarding A Minor Transgression And A Subsequent Interview, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Aug 2018

Children's Conversational Memory Regarding A Minor Transgression And A Subsequent Interview, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Children’s memories for their conversations are commonly explored in child abuse cases. In two studies, we examined conversational recall in 154 4- to 9-year-old children’s reports of an interaction with a stranger, some of whom were complicit in a transgression and were admonished to keep it a secret. Immediately afterwards, all children were interviewed about their interaction. One week later, children were asked recall questions about their interaction with the stranger, their conversations with the stranger, and their conversations with the interviewer. Overall, interaction recall questions elicited few details about children’s conversations, whereas conversation recall questions were ...


The Productivity Of Wh- Prompts In Child Forensic Interviews, Elizabeth C, Ahern, Samantha J. Andrews, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon Jun 2018

The Productivity Of Wh- Prompts In Child Forensic Interviews, Elizabeth C, Ahern, Samantha J. Andrews, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Child witnesses are often asked wh- prompts (what, how, why, who, when, where) in forensic interviews. However, little research has examined the ways in which children respond to different wh- prompts and no previous research has investigated productivity differences among wh- prompts in investigative interviews. This study examined the use and productivity of wh- prompts in 95 transcripts of 4- to 13-year-olds alleging sexual abuse in child investigative interviews. What-how questions about actions elicited the most productive responses during both the rapport building and substantive phases. Future research and practitioner training should consider distinguishing among different wh- prompts.